Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Dr. David Shallenberger


This exploratory qualitative research study explores the journey of changemakers and the role of formal and informal curricula in shaping students' understanding of social change and motivating them to take action. In addition, it investigates transformative experiences encountered through critical reflection and experiential learning and the steps universities could take to equip future changemakers with the necessary tools, skills, and mindset.

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with three male and two female students as well as one female teacher at Ritsumeikan University. The findings suggest that formal and informal curricula significantly shape students' understanding of social change and motivate them to take action. Critical reflection and experiential learning are key components of the changemaking process, helping students develop the skills, confidence, and necessary networks. This research provides significant implications for higher education institutions and policymakers seeking to create and support changemakers.


Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Higher Education | Social Justice


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